|Photo Credit||An Indoor Lady|
This week, a previous guest returns, fresh off being crowned the 2019 Funniest Person in Austin. We can’t definitively say he won it just to up his creds for the interview, but we’re excited to catch up with Andrew Murphy at this fortuitous time nonetheless.
Murphy set aside the accompanying winner’s cape and sat down with Valerie Lopez at the apartment he shares with Chris Tellez to get us up to date on how things have changed for him since we last spoke in 2017. He’s been on a tear, hosting the popular The Joke of Painting with Avery Moore, and has been performing and opening for big names like Fortune Feimster, Brian Posehn, and The Lucas Brothers. At the time of this episode release, we’ve also just wrapped the 2019 Moontower Comedy festival, and Murphy–as usual–appeared multiple times there as well.
“If you’re good at comedy, you can have a lot of fun doing it; there’s just a lot more struggle [in New York & Los Angeles versus Austin].”
At moments like these, it’s often top of mind to begin wondering if an exodus from Austin is in the making for someone on an upward trajectory. Is Murphy ready to pack up and head to one of the coasts? Thankfully not. He’s too big of a fan of Austin’s culture and comedy community. “If you’re good at comedy, you can have a lot of fun doing it; there’s just a lot more struggle [in New York & Los Angeles],” Murphy says, suiting his lifestyle and where he is in his professional growth. He heaps praise on Cap City Comedy and The Velveeta Room, calling them two of the greatest clubs in the country: “This scene got me this really cool opportunity, and I want to relish it a bit more.”
“[The Austin] scene got me this really cool opportunity, and I want to relish it a bit more.”
As his connections and success grow, Murphy does admit that he “sucks” at some of the necessary evils of building many types of careers: networking, and travel. He’s committed to doing more of both, and honing his skills at reaching out to people and places. Showcases like The Joke of Painting–celebrating its 2 year anniversary–certainly help here, bringing established and growing comics up on stage to try their hands at leading a Bob Ross-style painting lesson, sometimes with audience participation. Painting is now being run at The Velveeta Room, which also recently hosted a “Funniest Andrew in Austin” (there really are a lot of Andrews in the scene) show. There’s an element in each show of yet another skill Murphy claims he’s not yet mastered: improvisation. Painting often opens with he and Moore critiquing “really shitty paintings”; one outing was a round of trouncing awful paintings of The Beatles.
Events like these help build Murphy’s “dusty old Rolodex”, even if he’s not laser-focused on working that angle. While he repeatedly notes his lack of planning, Murphy simultaneously drops multiple hints of things on his “bucket list”, including creating and hosting more shows, and nailing at least 3 celebrity impressions: “not even for the stage; I just want to be good at parties.” He also wants to get better at being more “present” during his sets, responding to–if not interacting with–the audience to a greater degree. He vows to get out of his head a bit more, with more outward focus, versus inner perseverations, like whether his stage presence is working: “I am awkward. A whole lot of not knowing what to do with my arms over here.”
Murphy’s also continuing to branch out into more mediums and projects. He recently taped an episode of Carina Magyar’s Thanks Academy podcast with his brother, reviewing Forrest Gump. He did a multi-episode run on Chris Cubas’s podcast Canceled, reviewing the deservedly short-lived John Malkovich pirate show Crossbones. He hints at taking an acting class, and talks of writing and/or directing a web series or sketch project, something that will involve gathering local comics together, to collaborate on creating and releasing even more and better content.
That sounds an awful lot like networking to us; maybe Andrew Murphy is further ahead than he thinks.
Catch Andrew Murphy all over Austin, and at The Joke of Painting; the next one is June 24th!